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GM and LG identify cause of battery fires in Bolts; new recall for MY2017-2019 vehicles

Experts from GM and LG have identified the simultaneous presence of two manufacturing defects in the same battery cell as the root cause of battery fires in certain Chevrolet Bolt EVs. (Earlier post.) As a result, GM will be conducting a new recall for the previous population of Bolt EVs (2017-2019) to address the risk of battery fires in these vehicles.

The vehicles were first recalled in November 2020 for the potential of an unattended fire in the high-voltage battery pack underneath the backseat’s bottom cushion. (Earlier post.)

As part of this new recall, GM will replace defective battery modules in the recall population. GM will notify customers when replacement parts are ready. In the interim, GM is asking customers to take the following steps until the new remedy has been performed:

  1. Customers should, whether or not they received the current software update, return their vehicle to the 90% state of charge limitation using Hilltop Reserve mode (for 2017-2018 model years) or Target Charge Level (for 2019 model year) mode. If customers are unable to successfully make these changes, or do not feel comfortable making these changes, GM is asking them to visit their dealer to have these adjustments completed.

  2. Customers should charge their vehicle after each use and avoid depleting their battery below approximately 70 miles of remaining range, where possible.

  3. Customers should continue to park their vehicles outside immediately after charging and not leave their vehicles charging overnight.

Customers who have not visited their dealer to receive the advanced diagnostics software should visit their nearest Chevrolet EV dealer to obtain the update. After obtaining the software, customers should still limit their state of charge to 90% and otherwise follow the advice above.

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